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Old 05.12.2011, 10:03
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Swiss Christmas

It'll be my first Christmas in Switzerland this year. I'm curious about the Swiss traditions surrounding Christmas with family or friends. What should I be aware of? What etiquettes should be observed?
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Old 05.12.2011, 10:15
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It'll be my first Christmas in Switzerland this year. I'm curious about the Swiss traditions surrounding Christmas with family or friends. What should I be aware of? What etiquettes should be observed?
It is normal to sun bathe naked outdoors in the snow on Christmas Eve whilst sacrificing a small goat. Invite your neighbors over to participate and you'll enjoy a life long friendship.
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Old 05.12.2011, 10:19
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Re: Swiss Christmas

It depends on the community and which christian faith you follow. My family is catholic so we usually invite lots of family over and eat a big dinner, open present (yes we open them on the 24th), relax have fun, then go to midnight mass. That is traditional family focus swiss Christmas.
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Old 05.12.2011, 10:27
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It depends on the community and which christian faith you follow. My family is catholic so we usually invite lots of family over and eat a big dinner, open present (yes we open them on the 24th), relax have fun, then go to midnight mass. That is traditional family focus swiss Christmas.
I never understood that, celebrating on the 24th, but each to their own
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Old 05.12.2011, 10:36
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Re: Swiss Christmas

It seems it is common to celebrate with family and open presents on the 24th here as my son keeps reminding me but we won't be opening the gifts until the 25th but we hope to have a family trip up to rochers de naye and fathers christmas house on christmas eve... this should help the kids to sleep as will be so tired
x
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Old 05.12.2011, 10:43
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Re: Swiss Christmas

Christmas here is pretty much like Christmas everywhere else, with a few minor tweaks.

Santa doesn’t bring presents here – instead, they’re brought by Samichlaus on the 6th of December, and usually consist of a bag of fruits and nuts. This is because the Swiss have a tradition of hating children, and therefore attempt to fob them off with what is known in the rest of the world as a ‘snack’.

Samichlaus is normally accompanied by Schmützli, who would in any other country be immediately imprisoned for child cruelty. Here in Switzerland, though, he’s greeted warmly by parents as he whips and beats unruly children with his sticks.

So there you have it. For the kids, Christmas in Switzerland is about beatings and crap, healthy snacks.

For adults, Christmas is a somewhat grander affair. At Christmas, most adults exchange gifts. The customary gift is a gold bar or ingot – if you’re invited along to a Christmas party or dinner, it is considered incredibly rude to turn up empty-handed. Be sure to get your ingot orders in early, as they tend to sell out (the Swiss typically plan ahead, and with the credit crisis this year it’s getting tougher to track down gold ingots). If you’re not sure what size to buy, it makes sense to err on the side of generosity.

Finally, this is the time for the annual changing of the auto vignette. Customarily this is done by returning the car to the dealer where it was bought the previous year and exchanging it for a new car, although as a foreigner you might be forgiven for simply requesting a ‘vignette changing service’ which is reasonably priced at around CHF200- for the labour. They’ll usually change your blinker fluid at the same time.

Just follow the locals and I’m sure you’ll have a great holiday.

Christmas customs for children

St. Nikolaus Day Oddities: Care to Share?
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:21
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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I never understood that, celebrating on the 24th, but each to their own
I'm sure you didn't intend that to sound quite as dismissively superior as it does.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:28
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It is normal to sun bathe naked outdoors in the snow on Christmas Eve whilst sacrificing a small goat. Invite your neighbors over to participate and you'll enjoy a life long friendship.
Haha, you'd like that, Assassin...hours of amusement for you.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:30
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Re: Swiss Christmas

Love your humour.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:39
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It is normal to sun bathe naked outdoors in the snow on Christmas Eve whilst sacrificing a small goat. Invite your neighbors over to participate and you'll enjoy a life long friendship.
Yummm, I love roasting a young goat!

Tom
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:44
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It'll be my first Christmas in Switzerland this year. I'm curious about the Swiss traditions surrounding Christmas with family or friends. What should I be aware of? What etiquettes should be observed?
Compared to Australia, the main differences are:

1. Snow / Cold weather
2. There are two Santa's
3. Families celebrate the night before
4. It's difficult to rack up a crew for some backyard cricket.


oh, and Sacrificial goats...... must not forget about the goats
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:48
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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Yummm, I love roasting a young goat!

Tom
Ach, the roasting goat theory comes from homesick Canadian expats who miss roasting their grizzly bears and moose while shooting rifles at the stars and drinking Canadian piss brew til the mounties finally catch up with them.

The only thing that gets roasted here is cheese. And troublesome Auslanders.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:50
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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Ach, the roasting goat theory comes from homesick Canadian expats who miss roasting their grizzly bears and moose while shooting rifles at the stars and drinking Canadian piss brew til the mounties finally catch up with them.

The only thing that gets roasted here is cheese. And troublesome Auslanders.
But the nude sun bathing in the snow is OK then?

Tom
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:52
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Re: Swiss Christmas

This is going to be one funny Christmas...love it.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:53
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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But the nude sun bathing in the snow is OK then?

Tom
Of course not. However, nude hiking in the snow is allowed except in Appenzell.
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Old 05.12.2011, 11:55
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Re: Swiss Christmas

Yes, the roast goat is more of an Easter thing around here, Christmas is usually a boiled turkey or capon.

Tom
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Old 05.12.2011, 12:03
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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It is normal to sun bathe naked outdoors in the snow on Christmas Eve whilst sacrificing a small goat. Invite your neighbors over to participate and you'll enjoy a life long friendship.
Remind me to avoid Assassindorf this year.

Naked people I can deal with

Naked assassin I can't
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Old 05.12.2011, 12:08
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Re: Swiss Christmas

As I assume that the OP might have been serious with her question and I assume that at least some of the answers were make tongue in cheek, maybe this link to Swiss Info would be helpful

Christmas in Switzerland
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Old 05.12.2011, 12:08
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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Remind me to avoid Assassindorf this year.

Naked people I can deal with

Naked assassin I can't
Says the man who's wearing a pink bathing suit, a pink wig and is singing with his mädels in a swimming pool.
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Old 05.12.2011, 12:10
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Re: Swiss Christmas

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Says the man who's wearing a pink bathing suit, a pink wig and is singing with his mädels in a swimming pool.
But I'm not naked - I charge for that sort of entertainment
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